Here, you are urged and encouraged to run your mouths about something important.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Trumping accountability for Lying - the Race and Gender cards

An unbelievably ridiculous narrative is being pushed that U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice is being targeted by old white guys because she is black and female. Forget the fact that she gave the American people false information five times on September 16th. That's not relevant. The Morning Joe panel is the latest place where you can find this egregious argument.

Via NewsBusters:

At the November 14th press conference, Barack Obama reacted strongly to a question about Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain going after U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice for her demonstrably false talking points on five September 16th talk shows. In response, Barack Obama urged the Senators to go after him instead of Rice while saying she had nothing to do with Benghazi (the logical follow-up question to that wasn't asked) and that the White House sent her onto those talk shows.

Frankly, McCain and Graham should take Obama up on this offer for a few reasons. First, according to CBS, these CIA talking points were altered prior not just to Susan Rice uttering them on September 16th but before Jay Carney seemed to make the same case on September 14th, that the Benghazi attack was a result of the anti-Muhammad video. Second, as the official mouthpiece for Obama, going after Carney would equate to doing exactly what Obama suggested those two old, white, male Senators should do - go after Obama. Third, by going after Carney instead of Rice, Graham and McCain cannot be accused of attacking him over his race or his sex; he's as white and male as they are.

Then again, perhaps Rice was traipsed out to all of those shows for a moment such as this - the race and  gender cards. Her making demonstrably false statements is irrelevant, apparently.

Forget Susan Rice; who gave Jay Carney his September 14th Talking Points?

As a direct result of the November 16th testimony given to House and Senate Intelligence committees by former CIA Director David Petraeus, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice has come under the public spotlight. Everyone wants to know who altered her talking points prior to her five Sunday show appearances on September 16th, five days after the attack in Benghazi. According to Rep. Peter King (R-NY), Petraeus told the committee that the original CIA talking points made specific reference to al-Qaeda involvement. Rice's talking points did not.

CBS News reported that the talking points prepared for Rice were issued on September 15th. Petraeus briefed both Senate and  House Intelligence committees on September 13th and 14th respectively. After his November 16th testimony, King told reporters that Petraeus insisted that he always knew that it was a terrorist attack that involved al-Qaeda elements. The congressman said the recollections of both himself and Petraeus about the September 14th testimony were different. King remembered Petraeus saying the attack arose from a "spontaneous reaction" to the anti-Muhammad video. Petraeus' recollection was that he knew it was a terror attack.

Again, here is what King said after Petraeus testified on November 16th. Take note of what King says about the CIA talking points going through a "long process" that involved State and DOJ:

For the sake of argument, let's assume that Petraeus' recollection was correct and that on September 14th, he testified that there was al-Qaeda involvement in the attack and that it wasn't caused by a video. We're to believe then, that he delivered CIA talking points.  If Petraeus delivered the unchanged CIA talking points on September 14th, that "long process" likely would have begun sometime thereafter, taking approximately 24 hours to be given to Susan Rice.

Hang on a second.

At precisely 11:42am on September 14th, the daily White House press briefing began. During that briefing, White House press secretary Jay Carney - not just the voice of the administration but of the President himself - said this:

Here is the corresponding portion of the transcript via RCP:
JAKE TAPPER: Wouldn't it seem logical that the anniversary of 9/11 would be a time that you would want to have extra security around diplomats and military posts?

JAY CARNEY: Well, as you know, we are very vigilant around anniversaries like 9/11. The president is always briefed and brought up to speed on all the precautions being taken. But, Jake, let's be clear. These protests were in reaction to a video that had spread to the region.

TAPPER: At Benghazi?

CARNEY: We certainly don't know. We don't know otherwise. We have no information to suggest that it was a pre-planned attack. The unrest we've seen around the region has been in reaction to a video that Muslims, many Muslims, find offensive. And while the violence is reprehensible and unjustified, it is not a reaction to the 9/11 anniversary, that we know of, or to U.S. policy.
Again, if Petraeus was truthful with the committee on November 16th, that the CIA knew almost immediately that the attack was not "spontaneous" or in response to a video and that he relayed that information to the Senate Intelligence committee on September 13th and to the House Intelligence committee on September 14th, then Jay Carney lied. This is significant because Carney gets approved talking points from the President. Again, Rice is the voice of the administration while Carney is the voice of the President specifically.

Now, back to King's assertion that the CIA talking points went through a "long process, involving many agencies". Taking Petraeus at his word on November 16th, that he issued CIA talking points to congressional committees on September 13th and 14th, how did they go through such a lengthy process quickly enough for Carney to enunciate the new talking points before lunch on the 14th?

So, Rice was given her altered talking points on September 15th but the voice of the president had them by the morning of September 14th.

The question that needs to be asked is not who altered Susan Rice's talking points but who altered Jay Carney's talking points one day earlier?

This smacks of racism and sexism by the way. The black, female, U.N. Ambassador is being hung out to dry by the administration while the white, male, press secretary is getting a pass.

What say you Marcia Fudge and Gwen Moore?

**UPDATE** CBS News is now reporting that James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence (DNI) reviewed the talking points before they were given to Rice and the House intelligence committee:
The head of the DNI is James Clapper, an Obama appointee. He ultimately did review the points, before they were given to Ambassador Rice and members of the House intelligence committee on Sept. 14. They were compiled the day before.
Uh, are my eyes deceiving me or did the date that Rice received the talking points change? Does this mean Clapper reviewed the talking points on the 14th or that they were given to Rice on the 14th? CBS no less, reported on November 15th that Rice received the talking points on September 15th:
CBS News has obtained the CIA talking points given to U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice on Sept. 15 regarding the fatal attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, four days earlier.
So which is it? Was Susan Rice given the talking points on September 14th or on September 15th?

Incidentally, James Clapper is the guy who told Congress that the Muslim Brotherhood was "largely secular". This is relevant because that lie speaks to his credibility:

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